Forbes Blocks Its Coupon Directory Before Google Enforces The Site Reputation Abuse Policy

Apr 22, 2024 - 7:31 am 6 by

Google Burnt Coupons

Forbes has blocked its coupons section of its web site at using an x-robots-tag: noindex directive prior to Google enforcing the upcoming site reputation abuse policy. As a reminder, Google will enforce that new policy on May 5th both algorithmically and through manual actions.

Laura Chiocciora notified me of this change on X saying, "It seems like Forbes put a noindex x-robots-tag on its Coupon folder a few days ago." I checked the HTTP header for the coupon directory and indeed there is an x-robots-tag: noindex directive now placed on that directory.

Laura showed this chart showing a drop in visibility after Google began deindexing those coupon pages from Forbes:

Forbes Directory Semrush

It seems it was first spotted over here:

Lily Ray wrote about this after saying Forbes seems to be seeing a double-whammy hit not just from the removal of the coupons directory. Here is that tweet:

As a reminder, site reputation abuse "is when third-party pages are published with little or no first-party oversight or involvement, where the purpose is to manipulate Search rankings by taking advantage of the first-party site's ranking signals," Chris Nelson from the Google Search Quality team wrote. This includes sponsored, advertising, partner, or other third-party pages that are typically independent of a host site's main purpose or produced without close oversight or involvement of the host site, and provide little to no value to users, he explained.

This coupon directory is likely one of the more well-known examples of this in action. By Forbes noindexing it, they should not run into wider issues with this policy. You can learn more about this policy over here.

Forum discussion at X.


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